Monday, December 22, 2014

Chai Tea Palmier Cookies

Earlier this year I was blessed to be able to take a class called "French Pastry 101" at Cook's Warehouse.  There were several things which were being taught that night but the reason I took the class was to learn what it was like to make puff pastry.  Now, let me say, I've seen it on TV and still was not inspired to try it on my own.  No, I needed to take this class to come to the understanding that I was an IDIOT for not trying it before now.  Okay, I wasn't an idiot, I was more than just a little intimidated.  The best thing I learned was that making mistakes (even with an entire pound of butter) are okay if you learn from them.  Someone in the class made an error like this and the teacher showed her how to repair the problem.  Wow.

I've now made puff pastry twice.  The first time worked fine, but I made the second batch this past weekend and it was MUCH better.  In part because I used the right flour this time... who knew bread flour worked best for this purpose?  Let me say for sure that homemade puff pastry is WAY better than Pepperidge Farm or any other frozen brand I've bought.  It doesn't take too much effort, well, okay, it takes some real strength, but only for a few minutes of a time out of each hour for a half of an afternoon while you're watching football or movies or kids or such.

So what did I do with the puff pastry?   Mmmmmmm.  I made these incredible cookies called palmiers.  These french lovely puffs of crispy dough and crystal sugars are something I have loved since I was a little girl, so I'll confess I was eager to try to make them with my homemade dough and see if they could be as good as the ones I had from bakeries.  (I was pretty sure I was going to hold up okay against pre-packaged version I have settled for when going to the bakery wasn't an option.)  This recipe for Chai Spice Palmiers really got my mind spinning.  Once you make the dough, making these cookies is very little effort.  I was able to make four dozen of them, rolling the dough, spicing it up, rolling up the cookies as the recipe describes and chilling it overnight.  I got up early on Sunday morning and cut the cookies, sprinkled them with more spice and baking them until crispy and delicious.  This was a little bit of heaven, the texture was perfect and the flavor was out of this world. I confess not all four dozen of them made it to the places I make regular deliveries.  I'm smiling as I write this, I don't usually hold any back but I'm glad the family and I had extras to enjoy.   I might use some of the leftover dough to make a single batch for the Christmas cookie platter.

I highly recommend you try this recipe out, whether it's for your family or for a lovely tea event or company party.   Check out Tutti-Dolci's recipe for chai-spice-palmiers.

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